Morgan McDougall Creates LibGuide for 2019 Common Read

Morgan McDougall

Second-year Rhetoric & Writing PhD student Morgan McDougall created the LibGuide for this year's Common Read, What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. Morgan also shared her thoughts on the experience of creating the guide.

What is this year's Common Read? What should incoming students expect from the reading experience?

This year's Common Reading is What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. The book offers a nice blend of first-person narrative, explanations of scientific procedures and research, and really eye-opening information about lead poisoning. Due to the blended type of content within the book, it would make a great match for use within so many different disciplines. I expect that many first-year courses will integrate the book in some way, shape, or form into their curriculum.

In addition to courses integrating the book into their curriculum, students can expect a lot of interesting programming and events on campus related to the reading throughout the fall semester, including a speaking presentation from Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha herself on Tuesday, October 1. Students can register for the event.

What is a LibGuide and how will students use it for the Common Read?

A LibGuide is essentially an informative wiki page that contains various resources, explanations, and links related to the book itself or to concepts or topics discussed within the book.

Students can explore the LibGuide as a central location to learn more about some of the topics that are discussed in the book, including lead poisoning, Legionnaires' Disease, environmental activism and environmental racism, and media coverage of the Flint water crisis. The topics are separated into different tabs on the LibGuide and can be accessed through the top navigation bar. Additionally, the tabs all include information about the topics through written text, embedded videos, hyperlinks to outside resources, and graphics. If a student finds one of the topics within the book interesting and wants to learn more, the LibGuide is a great place to start!

Are there other resources students can expect to find in the LibGuide for the Common Read or for their other classes?

One feature that I really like about the LibGuide is how much information is just a click away. The information is not only presented as text, but through images, videos, and infographics. It is very visual and, hopefully, allows for an interesting read and multiple paths of exploration. There are a lot of hyperlinks that send viewers to external websites that contain extremely cool resources. One of my favorite resources is the Flint Water Study Blog that can be found on the 'Related Films and Readings' tab. This blog itself is EXTENSIVE and constantly updated with news about Flint and the progress that is being made. Also on that page, there is a list of four short films that are available to view online. These films cover water concerns around the United States and are very eye-opening about the importance of clean water and maintaining our regional freshwater.

What should people know about how to access/use a LibGuide?

While some instructors will embed the LibGuide into their Canvas courses, it is also possible that students can seek out the LibGuide on their own. To find the LibGuide, students can start at the library's website. On the tab navigation bar, under 'Search and Find' students can go to the list of all LibGuides under the 'Other' tab. Then in the search box on the right side of the page, type in the keyword 'Eyes.' The first result that pops up will be the LibGuide for this year's Common Reading!

The LibGuide functions like any other website. There is no order that the LibGuide tabs should be accessed. Instead, students can move from tab to tab, exploring at their own pace. Most videos are embedded and can be accessed by clicking the play button in the center of the video. Also, any hyperlinks that lead to external sources appear as brown, underlined text. There are a lot of hyperlinks on the LibGuide, so be on the lookout for them throughout any text sections in addition to section titles!